December 16, 2013

The herd, well familiar with the land and the route through it, and the people mounted or walking, and the horses, all come together in good ways and while not completely free of flaps and an unwanted excitement or two, the great chore of this cattle drive down Cascabel Road and up onto the mesas is accomplished, and I heave an equally great sigh of relief. A Red-winged Grasshopper flies up from the hooves of the lead cow as she goes for that water at the end of their trail up on range, two weeks after the last of these wonderfully colorful insects put on a show in the Mason bermudagrass. There will be no sight or music of this special grasshopper again until the long Summer of next year starts to thin down and the changing slant of the Sun calls them once again to their dance.

Grateful no cows had peeled off and got into the hopelessly jumbled Tamarisk thickets of the San Pedro’s riverbed, no horse got tangled in the old collapsed rusted barbed wire fences on the ridges, and that the people who help in this do so love to come partake in it, I go back to the bottomland pastures where only a few lonely cow kind have been left behind to increase their frames or to give birth for the first time in their lives in the coming months. Again insects are filling the air, catching the late sun. The peace of a well-finished chore drifts down and there is the feeling for the barest breath of a moment that work has come to be caught up and everything is right in this rural world.